The protest ride, which was organized by the ABATE (American Bikers Aimed for Education), unfortunately ended with a tragedy: ironically, one participant riding his 1983 Harley Davidson bare-headed crashed on Saturday on Route 11 in Onondaga, New York.
The unlucky fellow in question, 55-year-old Phillip A. Contos, hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed, losing control of the bike. As a result, he flipped over the bike's handlebars and hit his head on the pavement.
Contos, who was still alive when intervention crews arrived at the scene, was taken to the Upstate University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He reportedly died from head injuries, as he was not wearing a helmet. However, evidence at the scene and information from the attending physician indicate Contos would have survived if he had been wearing a Department of Transportation approved helmet, the troopers said.
"The medical expert we discussed the case with who pronounced him deceased stated that he would've no doubt survived the accident had he been wearing a helmet," said Trooper Jack Keller to NewsChannel 9.
It looks like there were no other incidents reported during the protest ride. In fact, most members put their helmets back on as they left the scene.
ABATE told the aforementioned source that despite this incident, they still believe in freedom of choice and bikers know the risk when they ride without a helmet...